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Exploring the personalised nutrition opportunity

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Will consumer awareness about the critical role of health across a lifetime finally be the impetus to jumpstart adoption of personalised nutrition programmes?

For years, there has been discussion around the potential of personalised nutrition to help consumers meet their individual nutritional needs, optimising health and wellness by addressing their own unique physiology. It is an emerging force impacting the food supplements space on a global basis, but questions remain as to its ultimate potential. However, the COVID-19 crisis has increased focus on the critical importance of baseline wellness; could this open the door for messaging that resonates about the power of meeting health needs now and in the future?

A new report from Nutrition Business Journal, Personalized Nutrition: Special Report 2021, dives into the opportunities and challenges facing the broader personalised nutrition space, with a focus on the U.S. market, and broader insights to fuel ideation.

The authors call out one of the basic tenets: “The ‘N of 1’ proposition on which personalized nutrition is based doesn’t only apply to whatever rubric is employed to build a nutrition regimen for a single person. It might also be applied to what the term ‘personalized nutrition’ means to that person.”

NBJ estimates that sales of personalised nutrition supplements in the United States grew by 34.8% in 2020; lower than the leap of 107% in 2019, but predicted to rebound to 59.9% in 2021. While noting the high growth rates are attributable to the relatively small size of the personalised market, they add that there are two streams of commerce that can be considered. Companies can look at not only the sale of supplements through a personalised model, but also the revenue from testing methods that drive those sales, both directly and indirectly. In fact, the report dives into the different benefits and drawbacks to models including questionnaire (used by more than half of responding companies), genetic testing, microbiome analysis and more.

In addition to market sizing, NBJ also fielded a new consumer survey to assess interest in personalised nutrition solutions. When asked which bases for determining a customised dietary supplements plan interested consumers, the highest percentage who said they were interested in any method was 33.7% interested in a program through a questionnaire of lifestyle and health needs—behind “none of the above” at 44.1%. Their biggest barriers to interest were feeling they didn’t need something that sophisticated for their supplementation and issues related to privacy, even more than pricing.

The report does point to the importance of consumer messaging to raise awareness of the potential for both testing methodologies and the value of supplementation. Given the ability of long-term supplementation to address underlying deficiencies, potentially supporting a healthier lifespan, this appears to cross over into the healthy ageing space. Geoff Mullan, CEO and co-founder of HumanPeople, will be participating in the upcoming Vitafoods Insights Virtual Expo Innovation Panel Discussion on the synergy of the healthy ageing and personalised nutrition markets.

HumanPeople is a personalised health and supplement company in the UK using a comprehensive range of tests including questionnaires and biomarker-based tests to offer health advice and supplement subscriptions. Of note is the company’s mission statement: “Our mission at HumanPeople is to help decrease the large percentage of life currently over 20% in poor health. To do that, we need to make these advances affordable and accessible to many; digital health is the key to doing that.”

Mullan will be joined by Mariette Abrahams, CEO and founder of Qina, and Peter Wennstrom, CEO of The Healthy Marketing Team. Their session is set for Thursday 13 May at 9:30am BST. Click here to learn more about Vitafoods Insights Virtual Expo and register for free.

Editor’s Note: ‘Personalized Nutrition: Special Report 2021’ includes not only robust market sizing, but profiles of leading companies including Baze, Care/Of, and Vous Vitamin; in-depth Q&A interviews with industry experts provide added context to the global opportunity. Click here to learn more

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